May 20
     2 Chronicles 15:1 — 18:34

15 Now for Azariah the son of Oded, the spirit of God came to be upon him. 2 Consequently he went out before Asa and said to him: “Hear me, O Asa and all Judah and Benjamin! Jehovah is with YOU as long as YOU prove to be with him; and if YOU search for him, he will let himself be found by YOU, but if YOU leave him he will leave YOU. 3 And many were the days that Israel had been without a true God and without a priest teaching and without Law. 4 But when in their distress they returned to Jehovah the God of Israel and looked for him, then he let himself be found by them. 5 And in those times there was no peace for one going out or for one coming in, because there were many disorders among all the inhabitants of the lands. 6 And they were crushed to pieces, nation against nation and city against city, because God himself kept them in disorder with every sort of distress. 7 And YOU, be courageous and do not let YOUR hands drop down, because there exists a reward for YOUR activity.”

8 And as soon as Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage and proceeded to cause the disgusting things to vanish from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities that he had captured from the mountainous region of Ephraim, and to renew Jehovah’s altar that was before the porch of Jehovah. 9 And he began to collect together all Judah and Benjamin and the alien residents with them from Ephraim and Manasseh and Simeon, for they had deserted to him from Israel in great number when they saw that Jehovah his God was with him. 10 So they were collected together at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign. 11 Then they sacrificed to Jehovah on that day from the spoil they had brought, seven hundred cattle and seven thousand sheep. 12 Furthermore, they entered into a covenant to search for Jehovah the God of their forefathers with all their heart and with all their soul; 13 that anyone that would not search for Jehovah the God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. 14 So they swore to Jehovah with a loud voice and with joyful shouting and with the trumpets and with horns. 15 And all Judah gave way to rejoicing over the thing sworn; for it was with all their heart that they had sworn and with full pleasure on their part that they had looked for him, so that he let himself be found by them; and Jehovah continued to give them rest all around.

16 As for even Maacah [his] grandmother, Asa the king himself removed her from [being] lady, because she had made a horrible idol for the sacred pole; and then Asa cut down her horrible idol and pulverized it and burned it in the torrent valley of Kidron. 17 And the high places themselves did not disappear from Israel. Only Asa’s heart itself proved to be complete all his days. 18 And he proceeded to bring the things made holy by his father and the things made holy by himself into the house of the [true] God, silver and gold and utensils. 19 As for war, it did not occur down to the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign.

16 In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha the king of Israel came up against Judah and began to build Ramah, so as not to allow anyone to go out or come in to Asa the king of Judah. 2 Asa now brought out silver and gold from the treasures of Jehovah’s house and the king’s house and sent to Ben-hadad the king of Syria, who was dwelling at Damascus, saying: 3 “There is a covenant between me and you and between my father and your father. Here I do send you silver and gold. Go, break your covenant with Baasha the king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me.”

4 So Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the chiefs of the military forces that were his against the cities of Israel, so that they struck Ijon and Dan and Abel-maim and all the storage places of the cities of Naphtali. 5 And it came about that as soon as Baasha heard of it, he immediately quit building Ramah and stopped his work. 6 As for Asa the king, he took all Judah, and they proceeded to carry away the stones of Ramah and its timbers with which Baasha had built, and he began to build with them Geba and Mizpah.

7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa the king of Judah and then said to him: “Because you leaned upon the king of Syria and did not lean upon Jehovah your God, for that reason the military force of the king of Syria has escaped out of your hand. 8 Did not the Ethiopians and the Libyans themselves happen to be a very great military force in multitude, in chariots and in horsemen; and because of your leaning upon Jehovah did he not give them into your hand? 9 For, as regards Jehovah, his eyes are roving about through all the earth to show his strength in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward him. You have acted foolishly respecting this, for from now on there will exist wars against you.”

10 However, Asa became offended at the seer and put him in the house of the stocks, because he was in a rage at him over this. And Asa began to crush some others of the people at that same time. 11 And, look! the affairs of Asa, the first and the last, there they are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and of Israel.

12 And Asa in the thirty-ninth year of his reign developed an ailment in his feet until he was very sick; and even in his sickness he searched not for Jehovah but for the healers. 13 Finally Asa lay down with his forefathers and died in the forty-first year of his reigning. 14 So they buried him in his grand burial place that he had excavated for himself in the City of David; and they laid him in the bed that had been filled with balsam oil and different sorts of ointment mixed in an ointment of special make. Further, they made an extraordinarily great funeral burning for him.

17 And Jehoshaphat his son began to reign in place of him and to make his position strong over Israel. 2 And he proceeded to put military forces in all the fortified cities of Judah and to put garrisons in the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim that Asa his father had captured. 3 And Jehovah continued with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the former ways of David his forefather and did not search for the Baals. 4 For it was for the God of his father that he searched and in his commandment he walked, and not according to the doing of Israel. 5 And Jehovah kept the kingdom firmly established in his hand; and all Judah continued to give presents to Jehoshaphat, and he came to have riches and glory in abundance. 6 And his heart became bold in the ways of Jehovah, and he even removed the high places and the sacred poles from Judah.

7 And in the third year of his reigning he sent for his princes, namely, Ben-hail and Obadiah and Zechariah and Nethanel and Micaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah, 8 and with them the Levites, Shemaiah and Nethaniah and Zebadiah and Asahel and Shemiramoth and Jehonathan and Adonijah and Tobijah and Tob-adonijah the Levites, and with them Elishama and Jehoram the priests. 9 And they began teaching in Judah, and with them there was the book of Jehovah’s law; and they kept going around through all the cities of Judah and teaching among the people.

10 And the dread of Jehovah came to be upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were all around Judah, and they did not fight against Jehoshaphat. 11 And from the Philistines they were bringing to Jehoshaphat presents and money as tribute. The Arabs also were bringing to him flocks, seven thousand seven hundred rams and seven thousand seven hundred he-goats.

12 And Jehoshaphat continued advancing and growing great to a superior degree; and he went on building fortified places and storage cities in Judah. 13 And there were many interests that became his in the cities of Judah; and warriors, valiant, mighty men, were in Jerusalem. 14 And these were their offices by the house of their forefathers: Of Judah the chiefs of thousands, Adnah the chief, and with him there were three hundred thousand valiant, mighty men. 15 And under his control there was Jehohanan the chief, and with him there were two hundred and eighty thousand. 16 And under his control there was Amasiah the son of Zichri the volunteer for Jehovah, and with him there were two hundred thousand valiant, mighty men. 17 And out of Benjamin there was the valiant, mighty man Eliada, and with him there were two hundred thousand men equipped with the bow and shield. 18 And under his control there was Jehozabad, and with him there were a hundred and eighty thousand men outfitted for the army. 19 These were the ones ministering to the king apart from those whom the king put in the fortified cities throughout all Judah.

18 And Jehoshaphat came to have riches and glory in abundance; but he formed a marriage alliance with Ahab. 2 So years later he went down to Ahab at Samaria; and Ahab proceeded to sacrifice sheep and cattle in abundance for him and for the people that were with him. And he began to allure him to go up against Ramoth-gilead. 3 And Ahab the king of Israel went on to say to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah: “Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead?” At this he said to him: “I am the same as you are, and my people are like your people and with you in the war.”

4 However, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel: “Please, inquire first of all for the word of Jehovah.” 5 So the king of Israel collected the prophets together, four hundred men, and said to them: “Shall we go against Ramoth-gilead in war, or shall I refrain?” And they began to say: “Go up, and the [true] God will give [it] into the king’s hand.”

6 But Jehoshaphat said: “Is there not here a prophet of Jehovah still? Then let us inquire through him.” 7 At that the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat: “There is still one man through whom to inquire of Jehovah, but I myself certainly hate him, for he is prophesying concerning me, not for good, but, all his days, for bad. He is Micaiah the son of Imlah.” However, Jehoshaphat said: “Do not let the king say a thing like that.”

8 Accordingly the king of Israel called a court official and said: “Bring Micaiah the son of Imlah quickly.” 9 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting each one on his throne, clothed in garments, and were sitting in the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were acting as prophets before them. 10 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made for himself horns of iron and said: “This is what Jehovah has said, ‘With these you will push the Syrians until you exterminate them.’” 11 And all the other prophets were prophesying the same as that, saying: “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and prove successful, and Jehovah will certainly give [it] into the king’s hand.”

12 And the messenger that went to call Micaiah spoke to him, saying: “Look! The words of the prophets are unanimously of good to the king; and let your word, please, become like one of them and you must speak good.” 13 But Micaiah said: “As Jehovah is living, what my God will say, that is what I shall speak.” 14 Then he came in to the king, and the king proceeded to say to him: “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead in war, or shall I refrain?” At once he said: “Go up and prove successful; and they will be given into YOUR hand.” 15 At that the king said to him: “For how many times am I putting you under oath that you should not speak to me anything but truth in the name of Jehovah?” 16 So he said: “I certainly see all the Israelites scattered upon the mountains, like sheep that have no shepherd. And Jehovah went on to say: ‘These have no masters. Let them go back each one to his house in peace.’”

17 Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat: “Did I not say to you, ‘He will prophesy concerning me, not good things, but bad’?”

18 And he went on to say: “Therefore HEAR the word of Jehovah: I certainly see Jehovah sitting upon his throne and all the army of the heavens standing at his right and his left. 19 And Jehovah proceeded to say, ‘Who will fool Ahab the king of Israel that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And there was talk, this one saying something like this, and that one saying something like that. 20 Finally a spirit came out and stood before Jehovah and said, ‘I myself shall fool him.’ At that Jehovah said to him, ‘By what means?’ 21 To this he said, ‘I shall go forth and certainly become a deceptive spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ So he said, ‘You will fool him, and, what is more, you will come off the winner. Go out and do that way.’ 22 And now here Jehovah has put a deceptive spirit in the mouth of these prophets of yours; but Jehovah himself has spoken calamity concerning you.”

23 Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah now approached and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said: “In just which way did the spirit of Jehovah pass along from me to speak with you?” 24 At that Micaiah said: “Look! You are seeing [which way] on that day when you will enter the innermost chamber to hide yourself.” 25 Then the king of Israel said: “TAKE Micaiah and turn him back to Amon the chief of the city and to Joash the king’s son. 26 And YOU men must say, ‘This is what the king has said: “PUT this fellow in the house of detention and feed him with a reduced allowance of bread and a reduced allowance of water until I return in peace.”’” 27 Upon that Micaiah said: “If you return at all in peace, Jehovah has not spoken with me.” And he added: “Hear, all YOU peoples.”

28 And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah proceeded to go up to Ramoth-gilead. 29 The king of Israel now said to Jehoshaphat: “There will be a disguising and entering into the battle [for me], but you, for your part, put on your garments.” Accordingly the king of Israel disguised himself, after which they entered into the battle. 30 As for the king of Syria, he had commanded the chiefs of the chariots that were his, saying: “YOU must fight, neither with the small nor with the great, but with the king of Israel alone.” 31 And it came about that, as soon as the chiefs of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they, for their part, said to themselves: “It is the king of Israel.” So they turned around against him to fight; and Jehoshaphat began to cry for aid, and Jehovah himself helped him, and God at once allured them away from him. 32 And it came about that as soon as the chiefs of the chariots saw that it did not prove to be the king of Israel, they immediately came back from following him.

33 And there was a man that bent the bow in his innocence, but he got to strike the king of Israel between the appendages and the coat of mail, so that he said to the charioteer: “Turn your hand around, and you must take me out from the camp, because I have been badly wounded.” 34 And the battle kept rising in intensity on that day, and the king of Israel himself had to be kept in a standing position in the chariot facing the Syrians until the evening; and gradually he died at the time of the setting of the sun.